Category Archives: Ars Poetica

The Overripe Plum

I ate an overripe plum
on the afternoon
of my father’s funeral
eaten a day or two late
piercing the skin, tight and purple
the soft flesh a mushy pulp
first the sweetness
chased by the sharp, acid tang
digging the stone from the 
centre with my teeth
while the juice dribbled down
my fingers, a puddle in
my palm

 

Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.

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The Flood

Next, I take from the fridge door
the salvage of invitations and
newsletters and takeaway menus
and children’s artwork and
decade old photos; the gospel
of our relationship and spread
them out in the backyard
fashion a single sheet of paper
fold an origami boat for when
the next flood envelopes us and
we float on the drift water.
And when the dove returns
we will unfold the paper
smooth it out and put it back
on the fridge for the next time

Weekend Blackouts

No, not a weekend of debauchery but snaffling a few minutes for some creativity in the midst of a crazy busy week.

Meanwhile the novella lies neglected waiting for a brief respite from the chaos to get more words out and finish it. The end of it is so very close.

Anyway, blackout poetry is like little moments of clarity. Find the right words and erase the rest.

Random Calligraphy

Below is a collection of sample sentences and ideas I’ve had, playing around with new markers and pens.

Handwritten Pages #27 Origami Heart

We knew him as the boy who flew a kite from the classroom window on a very windy day. He said it was made from pages of the local newspaper pilfered off a random driveway on the way to school, straws from the canteen, and half-dried scraps of sticky tape. A loose thread pulled from the strap of his backpack anchored his flight of fancy. It gained altitude and we added our own strings to let it fly higher.
We asked him why he did it.
He said he had an origami heart.
The next day the wind was still and he did not return. At an assembly we found out he took his life.
The day after, we made kites. Some flew, however briefly; others smashed into the ground. I don’t think we truly understood why there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in an object.

Handwritten Pages #25 Grace

I hid half of you inside my womb; a secret you knowingly planted but wanted to forget.
Two halves made whole then multiplied by division along lines we drew down each other’s bodies.
Until the time I presented her to you and showed you who you were, who you are and who you could be.
And you had the audacity to ask for her to be called Grace.

Handwritten Pages #24 Tethering

Towering above her by mere centimetres, her daughter on the cusp of identities offered her a hairbrush and elastic. “Plait, please.”
“You can do it yourself.”
“But you’re better at it.”
With the elastic snapped to her wrist she brushed through her daughter’s hair with one strand floating as the lightest tether. As the mother of wands and hands she gathered up the loose strand as an act of sacramental mythos and believed a rope of three cords was a firm anchor. Otherwise her daughter would ride out on open waters from the security of sanctuary even while she harboured her own childhood fears.
Abruptly interrupted.
“Mum, can I cut my hair short?”
Her daughter the helium balloon, straining at the string.
“One day, sweetheart.”